Hamilton County

Lt. James Edward McCormick Jr.





Lt. Edward McCormick, Pilot of Transport, Given Honor.

Lt. Edward McCormick, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. McCormick of this city, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, according to word received here by his parents.

The lieutenant, a transport pilot with the army air force, in the southwest Pacific area, received the medal “for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flights in the southwest Pacific area from Sept. 12 to Nov. 25, 1943.”

A letter from Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney, commander of the southwest Pacific air forces, states the lieutenant “took part in sustained operational activity against the enemy during which hostile contact was probable and expected. These flights included dropping supplies and transporting troops over territory that was continually patrolled by enemy fighter aircraft. Often landings were made on fields which were only a few miles from Japanese bases. These operations aided considerably in the recent successes in this theater.”

Lieutenant McCormick started transport flying in the southwest Pacific in mid-September 1943, in one of the toughest campaigns being waged against the Japs. No time was given to become accustomed to the tropical heat or to the primitive shelters or the peculiar climatic conditions which made the trans-mountain aerial trails over 13,000-foot mountain ranges some of the most dangerous flying country in the world.

Pilots in the area fly their unarmed and unarmored planes across the ranges six to 10 times a day in getting regular troops, paratroops supplies and food to the battle front and returning with wounded and sick.

Recently Lieutenant McCormick received a well earned rest after six months of combat flying.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - Apr. 24, 1944 (photo included)

James Edward ‘Ned’ McCormick, Jr. was born May 14, 1918 to James Edward (Sr.) and Madge Ashmore McCormick. He died July 3, 1949 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Webster City, IA.

Lt. McCormick served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II as a transport pilot in the southwest Pacific area. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

His Obituary: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - July 5, 1949

Rites on Wednesday for Drowning Victim

Air Corps Vet Died Sunday at Nokomis Park

Service to Be Held At 9 a.m. at St. Thomas Aquinas Church

Military rites will be held here at 9 a.m. Wednesday for James E. (Ned) McCormick, Jr., 31-year old Webster City farmer and former air force officer who drowned late Sunday evening in a tragic mishap at Nokomis park.

According to Sheriff E. R. Lear, McCormick was thrown into the Boone river near the C&NW railroad bridge when the horse he was riding either reared or stumbled in deep water when McCormick and 5 other members of the Hamilton County Saddle club were fording the stream to cool their mounts.

Lear said the mishap occurred shortly after 11 p.m., but the body was not recovered until more than 45 minutes later. Although at first, ropes were tried in an attempt to find the body in the 14-foot deep water, it was necessary to use pike poles supplied by the fire department before McCormick was pulled to the surface.

Artificial respiration was applied for nearly an hour before an attending doctor declared the veteran was dead.

Excellent Swimmer—

McCormick was reportedly an excellent swimmer, and authorities believe that he must have been hit by the plunging horse or had his foot caught in a stirrup when the animal reared. A companion, Maris Moberly, had hold of McCormick briefly as he fell, but lost his grip.

McCormick was first in a procession of riders who included Leonard Noe, John Baker, Maris Moberly, Cecil Gramblin, Jr. and Harold Knutson. The five riders, together with Frank Lanahan, had ridden to the Bill Jones farm south of town earlier in the evening. They had returned to town, stopped at a root beer stand at the west edge of the city and planned to return to the McCormick stables, also at the western limits of the city, after going to the river. Lanahan did not make the ride to the river.

The spot where the air force veteran drowned in former years was a popular swimming site before the municipal pool was constructed. Although the swimming hole is usually deep, recent rains apparently brought the river up and made the spot exceptionally dangerous. Sunday’s river reading at the light and power plant far downstream from the park was given as 3.45 feet with a normal reading at this time of year listed as around 2.90.

Services will be held Wednesday at 9 o’clock at St. Thomas Aquinas church with Father D. A. Gorman officiating.

The body will lie in state at the Foster funeral home until 8 this evening, at which time rosary will be held.

Military services will be held at the Catholic cemetery where burial will be made.

Born at Churdan—

James Edward McCormick, Jr., son of James E. and Madge McCormick was born May 14, 1918, at Churdan, Iowa. The family for many years farmed in the Williams community before moving to near Webster City.

He was a graduate of Webster City high school and served as a first lieutenant in the air forces in the Pacific war theater from 1942 to 1945.

Since his return from service he was engaged in farming near this city.

He was united in marriage Oct. 15, 1947 to Doris Hoover of Duncombe.

He is survived by his wife; a six-months old son, James Edward McCormick III; his parents; two brothers and two sisters: Bill and Max of Webster City, Mrs. Roger (Madgel) Cleveland of Fayetteville, Ark., and Mrs. Powell (Rachel) Bowery of Chicago.

A kind and loving husband and father, he was known as a generous and neighborly individual who had made many friends during his residence in this community. His friends will miss him nearly as greatly as the immediate family.

Source: ancestry.com